DIY Upsize - Refashion Your Clothes!

Break n Remake
by Break n Remake
5 Materials
30 Minutes

In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to upsize your dresses. I found this cute little summer dress, and it was a couple of sizes too small. Luckily when I was shopping, I found a skirt that matched the fabric, so the fabric is the same, but the color isn't. This was a fairly straightforward alteration; I just needed more room in the ribcage, so I added a panel on each of the sides.

Tools and materials:

  • Dress
  • Material that is the same as the dress
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors

Take your measurements

I started by taking my measurements to figure out how much to add to the dress. I added about 3 inches to my measurements to ensure that the garment won't squeeze me and I’ll have space to move around. Normally you would add 2-3 inches of ease depending on how loose or tight you want your garment to fit you.

How to upsize clothes

Measure the dress

I then measured the bust and the waistline of the dress to work out how much material I need to add to get my desired size. (In this case, the proportions of the bust and waist are 41 inches, and I wanted them to be 53 inches. So I need to add around 7 inches on each side which will include seam allowance).

Upsize a dress

Open seams and sew

The next step is to open up the seams and sew the panels in. Once I'd done this, I tried it on to see how it looked. I was happy with the result, but I regretted not adding the ruffles and elastic to the panels.

How to upsize a dress

Add the ruffles

My next step is to put elastic on the panels and add a ruffle at the bottom, so it's the same sort of ruffleyness as the dress (yes, I just made up that word). The place that I'm filling in with ruffle is 12 inches wide. A normal ruffle is 2 times the size of the width, but I think that this ruffle is only 1.5 times the size, so my ruffle will be a total of 19 inches (including seam allowance). I'm going to go ahead and do two rows of gathering stitches along the panels, and then I'll be able to attach them onto the dress.

DIY upsized dress

I'm hoping to do some dye work to the dress at a later stage so that it is all the same color. I don't wear this orangey-peachy color, so I'll be dyeing the whole thing. When the whole dress is the same color, it will look even more cohesive.

I’m really happy with the finished result! The thing about upsizing garments is that you have to come at it like it's an experiment. You don't know what you're going to get when you start cutting into things, but if you do it a few times, you start getting really good at it, and you can develop an eye for what will work and what won't work. The great thing about working with thrifted clothes is that if you make a mistake, then it's not like you're ruining a costly item. I hope you now feel a bit more confident when it comes to cutting up your clothes!

Suggested materials:
  • Dress
  • Fabric
  • Tape measure
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 22 comments
  • Bel1869322 Bel1869322 on Mar 03, 2022

    this is nice that you show them how to enlarge your dress to fit them .I have been doing this for years myself . Cuz I am a 3X and I often buy clothes that are 2X or maybe a little smaller and I add fabric to it so it will fit me. But I would have use a lighter color or maybe a color with a design in it for the side because I think the white sticks out too much then I use the new color for the sleeves

  • Connie Hinojosa Connie Hinojosa on Mar 22, 2023

    Love what you did, would love to see more of the up sizing.Thank you.